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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Insurance News

“Digitalization is not an option anymore - it is here to stay - and the marine insurance sector needs to keep pace" said Patrizia Kern, IUMI Data and Digitalization Forum Chair.

IUMI: Insurers, Underwriters Must Jump Onboard Maritime's Digital Transformation

Speaking at the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) annual conference, IUMI Data and Digitalization Forum Chair, Patrizia Kern discussed big data, the use of digital technologies, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has put digitalization on the fast track.“Digitalization is not an option anymore - it is here to stay - and the marine insurance sector needs to keep pace," said Kern. "For some time now, the shipping industry has been seeking cost-effective ways to operate and key logistics players have already begun to partner and digitalize the global marine supply chain.

Sean Dalton, Chair of IUMI’s Cargo Committee. Soure: IUMI

IUMI: Marine Cargo Insurance "Improving"

Sean Dalton, Chair of IUMI’s Cargo Committee reports the majority of marine cargo markets geographically can best be described as “hard” or “improving” amid significant change driven by unprecedented disruption to the global economy and world trade due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Dalton made his comments at the IUMI (International Union of Marine Insurance) annual conference. “In the past 12 months there have been a number of large cargo losses. These include the tragic explosion in the Port of Beirut…

Patrick Hawkins (Photo: Hill Dickinson)

Hill Dickinson Managing Partner Patrick Hawkins Dead at 59

International maritime law specialist Hill Dickinson announced the death of Patrick Hawkins, head of its office in Greece.Hawkins died in the hospital on August 20, having suffered a heart attack in early July. His funeral took place in Athens on Monday.Announcing his death, David Wareing and Tony Goldsmith, heads of Hill Dickinson’s Marine and Trade Group, said, “It is with enormous sadness that we have to inform you of the passing of our much loved colleague Patrick Hawkins.

© juandofer / MarineTraffic.com

Who Owned the Chemicals that Blew up Beirut? No One Will Say

In the murky story of how a cache of highly explosive ammonium nitrate ended up on the Beirut waterfront, one thing is clear—no one has ever publicly come forward to claim it.There are many unanswered questions surrounding last week's huge, deadly blast in the Lebanese capital, but ownership should be among the easiest to resolve.Clear identification of ownership, especially of a cargo as dangerous as that carried by the Moldovan-flagged Rhosus when it sailed into Beirut seven years ago…

(Credit: VOA)

Brokers Calculate Marine Insurance Losses from Beirut Blast

Insurance claims for damage to ships, goods and the port itself after a warehouse explosion last week in the port of Beirut were likely to total less than $250 million, reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter said on Monday.Overall insured losses - including property damage - from the August 4 port warehouse detonation of more than 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate may reach around $3 billion, sources told Reuters last week.The explosion killed at least 163 people, injured more than 6…

© Eddy Ulin / MarineTraffic.com

PDVSA Changes Oil Deals to Include Shipping as Sanctions Bite

Venezuelan state-run oil firm PDVSA has begun offering to ship its own oil, figuring in the costs in crude supply deals to help customers who have struggled to hire vessels to carry the country’s oil due to U.S. sanctions, according to company documents seen by Reuters.The United States has blacklisted vessel owners, shipping operators and threatened to sanction any tanker facilitating the country’s oil exports as it tightens restrictions on trade with the South American country.Washington has been trying to weaken socialist President Nicolas Maduro by choking the OPEC member’s oil exports…

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Insurers Discuss Container Casualty Causes

Handling of steel boxes throughout the shipping, ports and logistics supply chain has historically grown exponentially, putting strains on a range of operational procedures and the physical hardware employed to handle the steel boxes, particularly onboard ships. A recent webinar organized by the Thomas Miller managed insurance mutuals, container freight specialist TT Club and protection & indemnity insurer, UK P&I Club, revealed the diverse range of factors important to safe container ship operations and the security of the container stacks they carry.

The APL England lost at least 50 containers in heavy seas off the coast of Australia in May 2020. (Photo: Australian Maritime Safety Authority)

Container Losses in the Rolling Seas

Cargoes have come off ships at sea it seems like forever. Some years ago a ship suffered a casualty transiting the English Channel in a storm. Much of its cargo of lumber and other floating items washed ashore on the southwest English coast. Before the authorities could arrive, enterprising local residents gathered it up.Nowadays, the majority of non-bulk cargo is carried in containers. Container ships have gotten larger and are capable of carrying thousands and thousands of containers. The ships have greater length, greater breadth, and greater draft. They also have greater air draft.

(Image: Bureau Veritas)

Bureau Veritas Launches Online Maritime Training Courses

Bureau Veritas (BV) says it has launched the BVS eAcademy to provide online learning for marine and offshore energy markets across the globe.Led by BV Solutions Marine & Offshore (BVS M&O), BVS eAcademy offering more than 25 maritime courses developed from BV’s own internal training academy which, since 2016, has delivered more than 20,000 training sessions to more than 1,500 BV staff.Delivered online and on-demand, the course are suitable for maritime professionals, or students looking to develop their awareness and understanding of specific areas of expertise…

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Maritime Cyber Attacks Increase 900%

Cyber-attacks on the maritime industry’s operational technology (OT) systems have increased by 900% over the last three years with the number of reported incidents set to reach record volumes by year end.Addressing port and terminal operators during an online forum last week, Robert Rizika, Naval Dome’s Boston-based Head of North American Operations, explained that in 2017 there were 50 significant OT hacks reported, increasing to 120 in 2018 and more than 310 last year. He said this year is looking like it will end with more than 500 major cyber security breaches…

The car carrier Golden Ray sits capsized in St. Simons Sound, Ga. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Brian McCrum)

Total Shipping Losses Are Declining, But Challenges Persist -Report

The record low 41 large shipping losses worldwide in 2019 represents a 20% improvement year-on-year and almost 70% over a decade, but the coronavirus crisis could endanger the long-term safety improvements in the shipping industry for 2020 and beyond, as difficult operating conditions and a sharp economic downturn present a unique set of challenges, according to recent report from marine insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS).Consequences of coronavirus and a sustained…

John P. Phillips

Phillips Joins WQIS as Senior Underwriter

The Water Quality Insurance Syndicate (WQIS) appointed John P. Phillips as Senior Underwriter based in Houston, TX. Phillips will report to Justin A. Mongello in New York, NY."We are very excited to have John join the WQIS team as he brings a wealth of experience, expertise, and first-hand knowledge of WQIS' customers and our broker partners. For certain a great addition to our team," said Justin.Phillips was most recently Head of Marine Programs at Aspen Insurance U.S.-based in Houston, in charge of the development and management of all Specialty Marine Programs throughout the Americas.

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UK Cracking Down on Cargo Theft

The Freight Unit of the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) has been involved in numerous theft cases related to cargo crime in the UK; most recently acting to recover £200,000 ($252,000) of stolen goods. Through the recent period of lockdown in the U.K., there has been a demonstrable change in behaviour and tactics of criminal organisations involved in cargo theft. Restrictions on free movement have impacted criminal “business models”. Reported theft cases have demonstrated an increase in local activity and involved thefts from warehouse facilities…

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Singapore Retains Its Place as World's Top Shipping Hub

Singapore has maintained its position as the world's top shipping hub for the seventh year straight, according to a report published by the Baltic Exchange and Chinese state news agency Xinhua.The Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Center Development (ISCD) Index, now in its seventh edition, assesses factors including port throughput and infrastructure; depth and breadth of professional maritime support services; as well as the general business environment in its attempt to…

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American P&I Club, ABS Consulting Partner on Cyber Awareness

Collaboration between risk management and insurance sectors will focus on education, training and guidance to reduce maritime cyber riskABSG Consulting Inc. (ABS Consulting), a subsidiary of ABS focused on safety and risk management, and American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc. (the American Club) have joined forces to provide education, training and insurance guidance that address maritime cyber security.As digital transformation in the maritime industry brings both opportunities and new challenges…

North Chief Executive Paul Jennings (Photo: North)

North Completes Integration of Sunderland Marine

North P&I Club announced it has completed the integration of the Sunderland Marine Insurance Company Limited business into parent company The North of England Protecting and Indemnity Association Limited.The formal transfer of business, which takes effect Tuesday, comes six years after the merger of interests between North and Sunderland Marine in 2014.North Chief Executive Paul Jennings says the integration further embeds Sunderland Marine’s specialist fishing and coastal vessels…

Photo courtesy Marasco Marine Ltd.

The Four Dominant Criteria of Yacht Insurance

It is generally understood that the insurance coverage of a luxurious Yacht can be a headache for her owner, not having the necessary knowledge and sufficient information to make an educated decision with confidence, especially in a changing and challenging international insurance market.Yacht insurance traces its roots in an official sense back to the 17th century and falls within a special category, specifically Marine Insurance, which requires advanced knowledge and experience…

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Insurance Company Launched to Focus on Maritime Cyber Threats

A new insurance services business has been launched to protect maritime companies from cyber threats. Offering risk management, underwriting and analytics, Astaara Company Limited said it aims to modernize this area of the insurance industry."The insurance business is behind the times when it comes to cyber threats to maritime companies. It is only by listening to and responding to what the maritime community needs that you can create a solution that is relevant and necessary…

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Crew Training for a Future that Includes Autonomous Vessels

As we continue to contemplate a future with ships transitioning to automated and autonomous operations, the need for new and innovated crew training will only increase. Our current and future ship crews will need to straddle both new and existing vessel operation technology. This will present challenges, but ones that the industry can address in a proactive manner.Traditionally, maritime skills have changed slowly and new technology was assimilated on the fly in many cases. The Merchant Marine was a place where you learned on the job.

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Baltic Exchange Adds Tanker OPEX Assessments

The Baltic Exchange has added quarterly assessments of the cost of operating crude oil carrying Aframax tankers and clean product carrying Medium Range (MR) tankers to its growing suite of shipping investor tools.The new service is based on assessments made by independent third-party ship management companies Anglo Eastern, Fleet Management and V-Ships. Using the full suite of independent Baltic Exchange indices, investors are now able to benchmark daily vessel earnings, running costs, sale & purchase and recycling prices.

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Willis Towers Watson Launches New Cyber Insurance, CyNav for Ship Owners

Willis Towers Watson unveiled a new type of cyber insurance product for shipowners that redesigns standard cyber policies to better navigate the risks for ship operators in the digital era.The solution, CyNav, addresses cyber threats in the broadest sense, including losses that occur from cyber-related business interruptions, even when the cyber events originate with third party IT service providers.CyNav’s primary focus is to support the continuity of maritime businesses and…

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Insights: Contracts are Overrated in Maritime

My company has been around since 1875, and today we actually still do things that were being done in 1875. We still get calls from underwriters to attend on disasters all over the place, and we are still asked to provide values on ships on a moment’s notice.Moreover, some of the companies that ask us to attend to those issues, in some form or another, also have been around since 1875.That results in a very smooth operational routine, where we get a call from one of those clients in the middle of the night, we pull our pants on, step into the car and go out to see what is going on.

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IMO Endorses Shipping Industry's 12-step Plan for Crew Changes

The need for ships to change crews and for the world's 1.2 million seafarers to be able to fly home at the end of their periods of service have emerged as two of the biggest challenges facing the shipping industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.To help governments put in place coordinated procedures to facilitate the safe movement of seafarers, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued a 12-step plan to 174 member states, providing them with a roadmap to free…

Photo: ESA

CYSEC SA Wins Maritime Cyber Security Contract

CYSEC SA, a cybersecurity company from Switzerland, has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop a solution mitigating the cyber risks related to ship tracking using satellite communications.The digital revolution also impacts the shipping industry by integrating automated navigation, cargo-tracking systems and digital platforms which facilitate operations, trade and the exchange of data. To achieve this transformation, the mitigation of cyber security…

Thya Kathiravel (Photo: North P&I)

North P&I Launches New Insurance Product

A new offering from North is designed for larger ocean-going vessels and will complement the H&M insurance already available from Sunderland Marine for fishing vessels and other small craft. WeThe P&I club expects the new line will be taken up by a number of Members, whilst it is also open to non-Members. The focus from an underwriting perspective will be on quality of risk and suitability of terms.In support of the product, North has added significant underwriting expertise from…

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Trump Administration Issues Maritime Advisory on Sanctions

The Trump administration on Thursday issued guidelines to help ship owners and insurers avoid the risks of sanctions penalties, standards that maritime players and a senior State Department official said were modified following months of discussions with industry.The guidelines, known as a Global Maritime Advisory, concern sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Syria. The State Department said it is committed to disrupting sanctions evasion and smuggling of goods, including oil exports from Iran…